Croatia, officially the Republic of Croatia, is a sovereign state between Central Europe, Southeast Europe, and the Mediterranean. Its capital city is Zagreb, which one of the countrys primary subdivisions. Croatia covers 56,594 square kilometres and has diverse, mostly continental, Croatias Adriatic Sea coast contains more than a thousand islands. The countrys population is 4.28 million, most of whom are Croats, the Croats arrived in the area of present-day Croatia during the early part of the 7th century AD. They organised the state into two duchies by the 9th century, tomislav became the first king by 925, elevating Croatia to the status of a kingdom. The Kingdom of Croatia retained its sovereignty for nearly two centuries, reaching its peak during the rule of Kings Petar Krešimir IV and Dmitar Zvonimir, Croatia entered a personal union with Hungary in 1102. In 1527, faced with Ottoman conquest, the Croatian Parliament elected Ferdinand I of the House of Habsburg to the Croatian throne. In 1918, after World War I, Croatia was included in the unrecognized State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs which seceded from Austria-Hungary, a fascist Croatian puppet state backed by Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany existed during World War II. After the war, Croatia became a member and a federal constituent of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. On 25 June 1991 Croatia declared independence, which came wholly into effect on 8 October of the same year, the Croatian War of Independence was fought successfully during the four years following the declaration. A unitary state, Croatia is a republic governed under a parliamentary system, the International Monetary Fund classified Croatia as an emerging and developing economy, and the World Bank identified it as a high-income economy. Croatia is a member of the European Union, United Nations, the Council of Europe, NATO, the World Trade Organization, the service sector dominates Croatias economy, followed by the industrial sector and agriculture. Tourism is a significant source of revenue during the summer, with Croatia ranked the 18th most popular tourist destination in the world, the state controls a part of the economy, with substantial government expenditure. The European Union is Croatias most important trading partner, since 2000, the Croatian government constantly invests in infrastructure, especially transport routes and facilities along the Pan-European corridors. Internal sources produce a significant portion of energy in Croatia, the rest is imported, the origin of the name is uncertain, but is thought to be a Gothic or Indo-Aryan term assigned to a Slavic tribe. The oldest preserved record of the Croatian ethnonym *xъrvatъ is of variable stem, the first attestation of the Latin term is attributed to a charter of Duke Trpimir from the year 852. The original is lost, and just a 1568 copy is preserved—leading to doubts over the authenticity of the claim, the oldest preserved stone inscription is the 9th-century Branimir Inscription, where Duke Branimir is styled as Dux Cruatorvm. The inscription is not believed to be dated accurately, but is likely to be from during the period of 879–892, the area known as Croatia today was inhabited throughout the prehistoric period
The Antarctic Peter I Island and the sub-Antarctic Bouvet Island are dependent territories and thus not considered part of the Kingdom. Norway also lays claim to a section of Antarctica known as Queen Maud Land, until 1814, the kingdom included the Faroe Islands, Greenland, and Iceland. It also included Isle of Man until 1266, Shetland and Orkney until 1468, Norway has a total area of 385,252 square kilometres and a population of 5,258,317. The country shares a long border with Sweden. Norway is bordered by Finland and Russia to the north-east, Norway has an extensive coastline, facing the North Atlantic Ocean and the Barents Sea. King Harald V of the Dano-German House of Glücksburg is the current King of Norway, erna Solberg became Prime Minister in 2013, replacing Jens Stoltenberg. A constitutional monarchy, Norway divides state power between the Parliament, the Cabinet and the Supreme Court, as determined by the 1814 Constitution, the kingdom is established as a merger of several petty kingdoms. By the traditional count from the year 872, the kingdom has existed continuously for 1,144 years, Norway has both administrative and political subdivisions on two levels, counties and municipalities. The Sámi people have an amount of self-determination and influence over traditional territories through the Sámi Parliament. Norway maintains close ties with the European Union and the United States, the country maintains a combination of market economy and a Nordic welfare model with universal health care and a comprehensive social security system. Norway has extensive reserves of petroleum, natural gas, minerals, lumber, seafood, the petroleum industry accounts for around a quarter of the countrys gross domestic product. On a per-capita basis, Norway is the worlds largest producer of oil, the country has the fourth-highest per capita income in the world on the World Bank and IMF lists. On the CIAs GDP per capita list which includes territories and some regions, from 2001 to 2006, and then again from 2009 to 2017, Norway had the highest Human Development Index ranking in the world. It also has the highest inequality-adjusted ranking, Norway ranks first on the World Happiness Report, the OECD Better Life Index, the Index of Public Integrity and the Democracy Index. Norway has two names, Noreg in Nynorsk and Norge in Bokmål. The name Norway comes from the Old English word Norðrveg mentioned in 880, meaning way or way leading to the north. In contrasting with suðrvegar southern way for Germany, and austrvegr eastern way for the Baltic, the Anglo-Saxon of Britain also referred to the kingdom of Norway in 880 as Norðmanna land. This was the area of Harald Fairhair, the first king of Norway, and because of him
The Netherlands, also informally known as Holland is the main constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. It is a densely populated country located in Western Europe with three territories in the Caribbean. The European part of the Netherlands borders Germany to the east, Belgium to the south, and the North Sea to the northwest, sharing borders with Belgium, the United Kingdom. The three largest cities in the Netherlands are Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague, Amsterdam is the countrys capital, while The Hague holds the Dutch seat of parliament and government. The port of Rotterdam is the worlds largest port outside East-Asia, the name Holland is used informally to refer to the whole of the country of the Netherlands. Netherlands literally means lower countries, influenced by its low land and flat geography, most of the areas below sea level are artificial. Since the late 16th century, large areas have been reclaimed from the sea and lakes, with a population density of 412 people per km2 –507 if water is excluded – the Netherlands is classified as a very densely populated country. Only Bangladesh, South Korea, and Taiwan have both a population and higher population density. Nevertheless, the Netherlands is the worlds second-largest exporter of food and agricultural products and this is partly due to the fertility of the soil and the mild climate. In 2001, it became the worlds first country to legalise same-sex marriage, the Netherlands is a founding member of the EU, Eurozone, G-10, NATO, OECD and WTO, as well as being a part of the Schengen Area and the trilateral Benelux Union. The first four are situated in The Hague, as is the EUs criminal intelligence agency Europol and this has led to the city being dubbed the worlds legal capital. The country also ranks second highest in the worlds 2016 Press Freedom Index, the Netherlands has a market-based mixed economy, ranking 17th of 177 countries according to the Index of Economic Freedom. It had the thirteenth-highest per capita income in the world in 2013 according to the International Monetary Fund, in 2013, the United Nations World Happiness Report ranked the Netherlands as the seventh-happiest country in the world, reflecting its high quality of life. The Netherlands also ranks joint second highest in the Inequality-adjusted Human Development Index, the region called Low Countries and the country of the Netherlands have the same toponymy. Place names with Neder, Nieder, Nether and Nedre and Bas or Inferior are in use in all over Europe. They are sometimes used in a relation to a higher ground that consecutively is indicated as Upper, Boven, Oben. In the case of the Low Countries / the Netherlands the geographical location of the region has been more or less downstream. The geographical location of the region, however, changed over time tremendously
Belgium, officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a sovereign state in Western Europe bordered by France, the Netherlands, Germany, Luxembourg, and the North Sea. It is a small, densely populated country which covers an area of 30,528 square kilometres and has a population of about 11 million people. Additionally, there is a group of German-speakers who live in the East Cantons located around the High Fens area. Historically, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg were known as the Low Countries, the region was called Belgica in Latin, after the Roman province of Gallia Belgica. From the end of the Middle Ages until the 17th century, today, Belgium is a federal constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of governance. It is divided into three regions and three communities, that exist next to each other and its two largest regions are the Dutch-speaking region of Flanders in the north and the French-speaking southern region of Wallonia. The Brussels-Capital Region is a bilingual enclave within the Flemish Region. A German-speaking Community exists in eastern Wallonia, Belgiums linguistic diversity and related political conflicts are reflected in its political history and complex system of governance, made up of six different governments. Upon its independence, declared in 1830, Belgium participated in the Industrial Revolution and, during the course of the 20th century, possessed a number of colonies in Africa. This continuing antagonism has led to several far-reaching reforms, resulting in a transition from a unitary to a federal arrangement during the period from 1970 to 1993. Belgium is also a member of the Eurozone, NATO, OECD and WTO. Its capital, Brussels, hosts several of the EUs official seats as well as the headquarters of major international organizations such as NATO. Belgium is also a part of the Schengen Area, Belgium is a developed country, with an advanced high-income economy and is categorized as very high in the Human Development Index. A gradual immigration by Germanic Frankish tribes during the 5th century brought the area under the rule of the Merovingian kings, a gradual shift of power during the 8th century led the kingdom of the Franks to evolve into the Carolingian Empire. Many of these fiefdoms were united in the Burgundian Netherlands of the 14th and 15th centuries, the Eighty Years War divided the Low Countries into the northern United Provinces and the Southern Netherlands. The latter were ruled successively by the Spanish and the Austrian Habsburgs and this was the theatre of most Franco-Spanish and Franco-Austrian wars during the 17th and 18th centuries. The reunification of the Low Countries as the United Kingdom of the Netherlands occurred at the dissolution of the First French Empire in 1815, although the franchise was initially restricted, universal suffrage for men was introduced after the general strike of 1893 and for women in 1949. The main political parties of the 19th century were the Catholic Party, French was originally the single official language adopted by the nobility and the bourgeoisie
Club Brugge KV
Club Brugge Koninklijke Voetbalvereniging, commonly referred to as just Club Brugge, is a football club based in Bruges in Belgium. It was founded in 1891 and its ground is the Jan Breydel Stadium. Throughout its long history, Club Brugge has enjoyed much European football success, Club Brugge is the only Belgian club to have played the final of the European Cup so far, losing to Liverpool in the final of the 1978 season. They also lost in the 1976 UEFA Cup Final to the same opponents, Club Brugge holds the European record number of consecutive participations in the UEFA Europa League, the record number of Belgian cups and the record number of Belgian Supercups. 1890, Brugsche Football Club Club created by old students of the Catholic school Broeders Xaverianen,13 November 1891, Club recreated The club was recreated. This has since adopted as the official date of foundation. 1892, First board An official board was installed in the club,1894, Football Club Brugeois Club created by 16 old members of Brugsche FC. 1895, Vlaamsche Football Club de Bruges Club created in the city, 1895–96, the UBSSA set up in 1895. and they went to the UBSSA and took part of the first Belgian national league. 1896, Leaving the UBSSA Financially it was difficult for FC Brugeois,1897, Fusion FC Brugeois joined Brugsche FC but they continued under the name Football Club Brugeois. 1902, New fusion Vlaamsche FC joined FC Brugeois,1912, De Klokke They moved to a new stadium named De Klokke. 1913–14, First cup final FC Brugeois reached their first Belgian Cup final,1920, First time league champions The club became for the first time champions of the first division. 1926, Royal Football Club Brugeois The club get number 3 as their matricule number,1928, First relegation A first low when the club was relegated to the second division. 1930, New statute President Albert Dyserynck changed the statute into a non-profit association. 1931, Albert Dyserynckstadion When president Albert Dyserynck suddenly died they honoured him by changing the name into Albert Dyserynckstadion. 1959, Permanent to the first division RFC Brugeois promoted to the first division,1968, First time cup winners They won the Belgian Cup for the first time against Beerschot AC. 1972, Club Brugge Koninklijke Voetbalvereniging The club changed their name into the Flemisch name Club Brugge KV1975,1976, Highest position in UEFA Cup Under Austrian coach Ernst Happel, Club Brugge reached the finals of the UEFA Cup and lost against Liverpool. 1978, Only Belgian European Cup 1 finalists Still under Ernst Happel and this time it was in the European Champions Clubs Cup final. Club Brugge is the only Belgian club that has reached the finals of the European biggest competition,1992, First goal scorer in the Champions League Daniel Amokachi is the first goal scorer in the Champions League
Cercle Brugge K.S.V.
Cercle Brugge Koninklijke Sportvereniging is a Belgian professional football club based in Bruges. Cercle have played in the Belgian Pro League since the 2003–04 season, the club play home games at the Jan Breydel Stadium, which they share with fierce rivals Club Brugge. Cercle Brugge won their first national title in 1911, and won two titles before the Second World War. The side also won the Belgian Cup in 1927 and in 1985, Cercle Brugge was founded on 9 April 1899 as Cercle Sportif Brugeois by former students of the Saint Francis Xavier Institute, colloquially known as De Frères in Bruges. Originally, the focused on five sports, football, cricket, lawn tennis. Cercle Brugge became a member of the Royal Belgian Football Association in 1900 and were awarded matricule number 12, Cercle achieved their first success in the 1902 Henri Fraeys Cup, defeating Olympique Iris Club Lillois and US Tourcoing. After winning another few friendly cups Cercle achieved their first big success, Cercle ended a single point ahead of their main rivals FC Bruges, after their confrontation on the seasons last matchday ended in a 1–1 draw. Three years later Belgian football was devastated by World War I, former player Alphonse Six also lost his life. Cercle resumed competitive football in 1919 with an almost completely new team, Louis Saeys was the only player to remain in the team from before the war. Expectations were low, but the finished third in the league. The monument still exists and now stands in front of the Jan Breydel Stadium, in 1923 Cercle extended their stadium facilities again, moving 100 metres from their old pitch to a newly built stadium. This ground, later named the Edgard De Smedt Stadium, became Cercles home for more than 50 years, in 1924 the club changed its name from Cercle Sportif Brugeois to Royal Cercle Sportif Brugeois. The club embarked on a period, led by two key players, Belgian record international Florimond Vanhalme and player-coach Louis Saeys. Cercle led the league midway through the 1925–26 season, but player injuries led to results that saw them finish in fifth place. Cercle made a start to the 1929–30 season, entering the mid-season winter break in sixth place. Nonetheless, by the weekend of the season they had narrowed the gap to a single point. The side then faced a wait for the result of Antwerp against 10th placed Standard Liège. In the end, the news reached team captain Florimond Vanhalme that Antwerp had lost 3–5, meaning Cercle had won their third, because of this title Cercle were invited to take part in the Coupe des Nations, which is regarded as the predecessor of the Champions League
Royal Sporting Club Anderlecht, usually known as Anderlecht or RSCA, is a Belgian professional football club based in Anderlecht, Brussels Capital-Region. They have also won nine Belgian Cups and hold the record for most consecutive Belgian championship titles, founded in 1908, the club first reached the highest level in Belgian football in 1921–22 and have been playing in the first division continuously since 1935–36. They won their first major trophy after World War II with a win in 1946–47. Since then, they have never finished outside the top six of the Belgian first division and they are ranked 12th amongst all-time UEFA club competition winners, tenth in the IFFHS continental Clubs of the 20th Century European ranking and were 41st in the 2012 UEFA team rankings. In 1986, they achieved their best UEFA ranking with a joint first place with Juventus Anderlecht have been playing their matches in the Astrid Park in the municipality of Anderlecht since 1917. Their current stadium, Constant Vanden Stock Stadium, was first opened in 1983 and they play in purple and white outfits. They have long-standing rivalries with Club Brugge and Standard Liège and previously with FC Brussels, founded as Sporting Club Anderlechtois on 27 May 1908 by a dozen football lovers at the Concordia café, the club beat Institut Saint-Georges in their first match by 11–8. They joined the competition in 1909–10, starting at the lowest level in the Belgian football league system. In 1912–13, they gained promotion to the level of football. After only one season at level, the championships were suspended due to World War I. With the popularity of the increasing, Anderlecht had moved to a new stadium in the Astrid Park in 1917. They baptized the stadium Stade Emile Versé in honor of the clubs first major patron, at the end of the 1920–21 season, Anderlecht were promoted to the first division for the first time in their history. In 1933,25 years after their formation, the changed their name to Royal Sporting Club Anderlechtois. Since their promotion in 1935, Anderlecht has remained at the top level of football, with Jef Mermans, a striker signed from K Tubantia FC in 1942 for a record fee of 125,000 Belgian francs, Anderlecht won their first league title in 1947. Their success increased in the years as they won six more titles between 1949–50 and 1955–56 and two more in 1958–59 and 1961–62. In the 1960s, under the coaching of Pierre Sinibaldi and then of Andreas Beres, the club won five titles in a row. The star of this team was Paul Van Himst, Anderlecht played in the first European Champion Clubs Cup in 1955–56, and lost both legs of their tie against Vörös Lobogo. They had to wait until the 1962–63 season to win their first European tie, with a 1–0 victory over Real Madrid, for the first time, they advanced to the second round, where they beat CSKA Sofia before losing to Dundee in the quarter-finals
R. Charleroi S.C.
Royal Charleroi Sporting Club is a Belgian football club based in the city of Charleroi, in the province of Hainaut. Charleroi plays in the Belgian Pro League and their current spell at the highest level in Belgian football has started in the 2012–13 season, Charleroi was founded in 1904 and they first reached the first division in 1947–48. Their highest finish was runner-up in the 1968–69 season and they have also twice reached the Belgian Cup final, losing in 1977–78 to Beveren and in 1992–93 to Standard Liège. Sporting Charleroi have a rivalry with city other club ROC de Charleroi-Marchienne. Charleroi play their matches at the Stade du Pays de Charleroi. The stadium hosted 3 group stage games in the Euro 2000 among which the 1–0 victory of England against Germany, Charleroi have been recruiting several French players in recent years, including Michaël Ciani, Cyril Théréau and goalkeeper Bertrand Laquait. Charleroi Sporting Club was founded in 1904 and they received the matricule n°22, twenty years after their foundation, they qualified to play in the Promotion and in 1929, the club changed its name to Royal Charleroi Sporting Club. Rivals from Olympic Charleroi were playing in the first division in the late 1930s, in 1949, Sporting Charleroi finished 4th whereas Olympic Charleroi was 14th. But Olympic took the lead again until 1955 and their relegation to the second division, at the end of the 1956–57 season, Olympic Charleroi had promoted to the first division but Sporting Charleroi finished last in the first division and was thus relegated to the second division. A spell of 9 seasons in the division followed and in 1966–67 Sporting Charleroi was back at the top level. They finished at the place in 1968–695 points behind Standard Liège. In 1974 the first division was changing from 16 to 20 teams, Olympic Charleroi promoted too as they had won the second division right before but they remained at the top level for just one season. Sporting underwent a new relegation in 1979–80 but was five years later. Their best result since then in the first division is a 4th place in 1993–94, in September 2005, the G-14 took FIFA to court over the 8-month injury incurred by Abdelmajid Oulmers whilst on international duty with Morocco. The colours of Charleroi are black and white with a shirt generally striped, the actual ground was baptized in 1939 with a match Sporting-Union du Centre and it was located near the coal mine named Mambourg. In 1985 the stadium was modernized as the club had qualified for the first division. It was then renewed in the late 1990s in view of the 2000 European Football Championship. The name changed on May 24,1999 from Stade du Mambourg to Stade du Pays de Charleroi, during the tournament, the full capacity of the stadium was up to 30,000 seats
Kjetil André Rekdal is a Norwegian football manager and a former footballer who was head coach of Norwegian club Vålerenga from 2013 to 2016. Rekdal began his career in Molde FK, playing afterwards for clubs in the German Bundesliga, French Ligue 1. Playing as a midfielder during his time as a player, his 83 caps with the Norwegian national football team makes him the seventh most capped player in the teams history, Rekdal previously managed Vålerenga from 2000 to 2006, during which he won both the cup and league title. He has also been in charge of Kaiserslautern, Lierse and Aalesund, during his time at Aalesund, the club earned two cup titles and saw a period of success previously unmatched in their history, which was attributed to Rekdal. In 1996, he signed for Ligue 1 club Rennes, the highlight of his playing career was a highly successful spell at Hertha BSC in Germany between 1997 and 2000. His final years as a player and then player/manager was spent in Norwegian club Vålerenga, in the summer of 2007, Rekdal officially rejoined his youth club Fiksdal/Rekdal. Rekdal has 83 games for the Norwegian national team, after his debut against Italy in 1987, Rekdal resigned as coach at Vålerenga on 21 August 2006, following a string of poor results. He was appointed manager of his former club Lierse on 21 November 2006, when he arrived at the club, Lierse lay bottom of the table with only two points in fifteen matches. At the end of the season, they ended up with 26 points, in the play-offs, Lierse only managed to win three of their six matches and were relegated to the Second Division after all. In May 2007, Rekdal signed on to manage Kaiserslautern in the German 2 and he left the club in early February of the following year, the club lying in sixteenth place. He joined forces with Norwegian Premier League outfit Aalesund in 2008 after moving back to Norway, in 2009, he led Aalesund to the clubs first victory in the Norwegian Cup, where they beat arch rivals Molde 3–2 after a penalty shootout in the final. In 2010, he led the club to the place in Tippeligaen. The same year he again led Aalesund to win the Norwegian Cup Final and his contract with Aalesund was terminated on 26 November 2012. After he won his second Norwegian Cup with Aalesund in three years, he was again said to take over as national team coach after Drillo. On 26 November 2012, the board of directors of Aalesund announced the termination of Rekdals contract, the board stressed that it was not due to the season results, but rather as a result of a general review. Analysts noted that the sacking was likely a result of a struggle within the club between Rekdal, the sports director and the chairman of the board. Rekdal started his tenure for Vålerenga, when he was appointed as head coach on 8 January 2013. Among his interests and hobbies is freshwater fishing and card-games such as Poker, Rekdal moved to Ottestad neighborhood in Hamar in 2013, with his wife and four children
Foeke Booy is a Dutch retired footballer and football manager. Booy played for eight clubs in sixteen seasons, after hometown club Cambuur Leeuwarden, De Graafschap, PEC Zwolle and FC Groningen he opted for a Belgian adventure. He wore the shirt of Kortrijk, Club Brugge and Gent, during his time with Club Brugge, he won the national championship twice and the national cup. In 1994, he played for FC Utrecht, however, a serious knee injury made it almost impossible for Booy to continue to play football at the highest level. At the age of 34 he therefore decided to focus on a future as a coach and he coached the B-juniors of FC Utrecht, he had Young FC Utrecht under his wing and was assistant to the coach of the A-selection for two years. In 2002, he became manager and coach of FC Utrecht. Booy is the most successful coach in the history of FC Utrecht, in his first year as a coach his team challenged for a European place for a long period but finally ended eighth with 47 points. The climax of the season 2002–03 was the fact that FC Utrecht won the Amstel Cup at Feyenoords expense, the club from Rotterdam had been beaten in its own stadium 4–1. On 18 December 2007, Booy was named as the Sparta Rotterdam coach after managing Al-Nassr in Saudi Arabia from summer 2007 and he left Sparta at the end of the 2008–09 season to become director of football at FC Utrecht, where he was sacked in May 2012. In November 2012, he was appointed coach of Cercle Brugge in Belgium. However, in April 2013 he was fired because of poor results, on 23 June 2013, Booy was appointed as manager of newly promoted Eredivisie side Go Ahead Eagles. He was sacked on 22 March 2015, as of 21 March 2015 Booys signs for Sparta Rotterdam